On The Way To Kirkby Lonsdale

Low,
Centripetal skirts around
For-sale forests.

Snow,
On the fell in
Low resolution, while

Intermittent
Blizzards slice
Frozen air across lanes.

Soon,
The castle appears
Between two small hills, as

Disjointed
As ever, with perfect lego turrets and
Unarmed arrow slots.

Manor lodges’
White drapes conceal
Bare, plastered walls

Or
Leather-bound books on
Smoking-jacket mantelpieces.

Cultures
Slapped into each other
Like colliding waves,

Formed
A fleeting, rising
Wall of water, before

Collapsing,
Homogenising
Brythonic rivers and mountains;

Roman cities;
Saxon villages; Viking dales.
In the time before I was

Born,
Assumptions were made –
Gently eroded like the Lune’s valley.

And now?
One image looks back
In the English mirror;

Every bend
Of the road, presses
On my chest;

Ribs,
Weighed down by a nagging
Graph of isobars, that

Converge
Two years ago. The plans that
Drowned in Lune’s last flood.

Where will the river lie next year?
When is the season of thoughts transmitted
to abandoned barns, and logs
half-rotted in inchoate ponds?

My burrs catch on language and memory.
My stones founder under Devil’s Bridge.

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